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NHVR instigates further white paint rule changes

Old restrictions fall as the national body follows Commonwealth lead to remove bumper restrictions


The restriction surrounding white rear bumper bars on semi-trailers has been further relaxed after the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) loosened restrictions on in-service models.

The NHVR has now removed the need for in-service semi-trailers built after the middle of 1988 to have white rear bumper bars.

Under the new requirements transport operators will see approximately $275 savings per vehicle for a complete refurbishment and $125 for maintaining semitrailers damaged during normal road use, NHVR executive director of productivity and safety Geoff Casey says.

 “The NHVR has taken further steps to ensure in-service semitrailers manufactured since 1 July 1988 also benefit from the change to drive productivity benefits for the sector,” Casey says.

“It is estimated that the total savings for in-service vehicles will double the $12.5 million savings identified by the Commonwealth.”

The federal government first confirmed changes to the Australian Design Rules earlier this month making it possible for new semi-trailers built after January 1, 2005 to avoid the previous requirement for a white coat of paint.

The move was applauded for its productivity and financial gains by the industry, with major projects minister Paul Fletcher predicting a saving of $12.4 million over the next decade.

“More than 4,500 semi-trailers are manufactured in Australia every year and they will no longer require the extra step in production to paint the rear bumper a different colour to the main trailer body,” Fletcher confirmed earlier this month.

Quick to applaud the changes to the design rules, Australian Trucking Association (ATA) chief executive Christopher Melham says the further steps taken by the NHVR makes the white rear bumper requirement a thing of the past.

“This is a simple exemption that will provide savings for transport businesses and operators, as well as ensuring that operators do not receive defect notices for an issue where there is no safety risk,” Melham says.

“I applaud the common sense approach the NHVR has taken to remove red tape from the industry and trailer manufacturers.”

The NHVR says it issued a vehicle standards exemption notice today, removing the restriction on in-service models.

However for new trailers, the changes will come into effect once the Vehicles Standard (Australian Design Rule 42/04 – General Safety Requirements) 2005 – Amendment 6 is registered on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments.


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